ArrrrrrrrrrrrrrPirates

Jan 28, 2003
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Well, I don't believe a word of it, Mike.

Who on earth would design an armoured, secure, section of the bridge with an opening window you could chuck a bottle out of? And who wouldn't plan in a radio? And who would have a bottle (and top), paper and pen to hand whilst embattled in the secure section? The scenario is preposterous.

"OK, Emilio. Pass round your Evian bottle and everyone take a life-preserving swig until it's empty. Nobody lose the top. Now, Luigi, you've got the best English, so you write the message for the bottle. Remember, the Royal Navy won't speak Italian, but the Somalis do. Camillo - get ready to open the window."

Huh!!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Well, I don't believe a word of it, Mike.<<

I'm skeptical as well, but as I said when I posted the story last week...graciously assuming it happened as claimed...if it's stupid but works, it's not stupid. In the meantime, you should enjoy this bit from The Navy News:

Navy strikes third major blow against pirates in a week
quote:

A suspected pirate mother ship has been stopped by the Royal Navy in the third blow dealt to pirates in the past week by UK forces.

The dhow - thought to be the launchpad for last week's attack on an Italian cargo ship - was stopped by the combined efforts of HMS Somerset, RFA Fort Victoria, Royal Marines Commandos and a Merlin helicopter from 829 Naval Air Squadron some 200 miles off Somalia.
More at http://www.navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/2021

Comment: Looks like the hunting is good for the Navy people!​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>But I bet you anything, Mike, they aren't worrying about Human Rights.....<<

I don't think they were either, however, if the Bad Guys made it to the beach alive, that's a lot more then can be said about that bunch who was taken by the Russians.

In the meantime, from the Hellenic Shipping News:

Weekly Piracy Update: Pirates hovering off coast of Zanzibar and southern Somalia

Story at http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53814:weekly-piracy-update-pirates-hovering-off-coast-of-zanzibar-and -southern-somalia-&catid=44:latest-news&Itemid=64

Comment: The good news is that fewer of these attacks succeed, but the bad news is that they're getting a lot more vicious!
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Zanzibar. I went there decades ago. A lot going for it in some ways, but the tropical wet heat, and the declining houses ... oh dear. It must be even worse now. The scent on the winds, however, were simply wonderful.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Never been to Zanzibar, but I have been to Kenya. Rather a dusty place and malaria was enough of a problem that we had to take these hinking huge anti-malarial prophylaxis pills. Back then at least, piracy wasn't an issue and nobody was trying to use their prisons as a dumping ground to lock them up.

Of course, back in 1980. Somalia had a functioning government.

From The Hellenic Shipping News:

Bill to Domesticate Treaties on Piracy, Waterways Robbery Underway
quote:

In a bid to curtail the activities of sea piracy and robbery in Nigeria waterways, a bill to domesticate international laws, guidelines, and conventions on the matter is underway in the National Assembly.
More at http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53804:bill-to-domesticate-treaties-on-piracy-waterways-robbery-underw ay-&catid=3:international-shipping-news&Itemid=63
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The World Maritime News:

Ship Insurers Offers Discount for Armed Guards on Ship
quote:

A number of kidnap and ransom insurers are demanding the presence of armed guards on vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean before they will provide cover, and others are offering discounts of up to 35% to shipowners employing private security firms for voyages in high-risk areas.
More at http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/36142
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Hellenic Shipping News:

Ex-Marines Fighting Pirates Off Africa as World Shipping Lanes Attacked
quote:

About 1,000 former Royal Marines will be deployed by a British company next year to protect oil tankers and other vessels transiting the world’s most dangerous shipping lanes off East Africa.
More at http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?opti on=com_content&view=article&id=53960:ex-marines-fi ghting-pirates-off-africa-as-world-shipping-lanes- attacked-&catid=44:latest-news&Itemid=64

Comment: If you have to hire somebody for this sort of thing, you might as well go for the best! One would be hard up to find anybody better then the Royal Marines!​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Hellenic Shipping News:

Iranian Warships Foil Attempted Hijack of Oil Tanker
quote:

An attempt by the Somali pirates to hijack an Iranian oil tanker was thwarted after the Iranian Navy fleet deployed in the Gulf of Aden thwarted the attack with timely action.
More at http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?opti on=com_content&view=article&id=54124:iranian-warsh ips-foil-attempted-hijack-of-oil-tanker&catid=3:in ternational-shipping-news&Itemid=63

Comment: Well done to the Iranian Navy!!!!​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Hellenic Shipping News:

US Welcomes UN Assessment of maritime piracy in West Africa
quote:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for countries and regional organizations in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat maritime piracy, which he says threatens to hinder economic development and undermine security in the region.
More at http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?opti on=com_content&view=article&id=54412:us-welcomes-u n-assessment-of-maritime-piracy-in-west-africa-&ca tid=3:international-shipping-news&Itemid=63

Comment: The question is how much of all this jabberjawing will be translated into substantive action.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Marine Link:

EnGarde Tactical Armor for Crew Protection
quote:

Lookouts scan the horizon, searching for any boat or vessel that looks out of place, careful eyes watch the radar screen. The entire crew is on edge; radio chatter between ships is nearly constant. Fishing vessels, normally a routine part of ocean travel, get extra scrutiny and wide passage. Any small boat approaching the ship sets off alarm bells.
More at http://www.marinelink.com/news/protection-tactical 341067.aspx
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Dec 2, 2000
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From The World Maritime News:

UK: Arms Race May Develop Between Pirates and Shipping Industry, Warns ITF
quote:

An arms race may develop between pirates and the shipping industry given the widespread use of security teams to prevent vessels from being hijacked, the ITF has warned.
More at http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/36772

Comment: You can't refrain from dealing with the Bad Guys just because you're afraid they're going to raise the stakes. The probability that they can is an overwhelmingly good reason to deal with them before they get the chance!​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Tonight's feature story from The Navy Times:

U.K. ships allowed guards to ward off pirates
quote:

LONDON – Ships sailing under Britain’s flag will be permitted to carry armed guards on some perilous routes to combat the threat from pirates, the prime minister said Sunday.
More at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/10/ap-piracy-uk-ships-allowed-armed-guards-103011/

Comment: Yeah, it's about time. I know that. Looks like Whitehall at least is starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Given how strict firearms laws are in Great Britain, the fact that they are willing to go this far shows just how seriously this problem is being taken.​
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Here you go, Mike, news to gladden your heart. Dave's getting tough! Though, I have to admit, it doesn't come from our most authoritative newspaper by a long way. It's a rag, basically. You never know, though, it might be true. I have noticed in our PM that he has a tendency to mutter away on accepted EU lines for just so long, before he loses patience and shouts "Oh, for God's sake!"

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/3903670/You-can-shoot-Somali-pirates.html

Living in a garrison town as I do ( near Aldershot - the Home of the British Army) I get to talk to quite a few in shops and pubs and stuff. Met a terrifically powerful and upright young bloke the other day, aged 25, who's see service in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa and Kenya with the Medical Corps, and he knew a bit about Somali pirates.

"Why don't we just organise ships into convoys and send them up with a stiff international naval escort?" I wondered.

"Because the international navies can't agree on acceptable action," he said. "The EU nations are out of step with the others."

So, basically, it seems, we have naval vessels of many nations roaming around to no great effect - some prepared to fire on sight, and others frantically radioing lawyers in Brusssels for advice. Perhaps I exaggerate ....
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>So, basically, it seems, we have naval vessels of many nations roaming around to no great effect - some prepared to fire on sight, and others frantically radioing lawyers in Brusssels for advice. Perhaps I exaggerate ....<<

Perhaps the Russians had the right idea with their very special notion of catch and release. They catch them and let them go...in an open boat with no food, no water, no compass, charts, engine, fuel or other trivial luxuries, and they do it as far as possible from shore.

Oddly enough, the happy little band they did this to hasn't been heard from since.

I wonder why?
 
Dec 29, 2006
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>>Perhaps the Russians had the right idea with their very special notion of catch and release. They catch them and let them go...in an open boat with no food, no water, no compass, charts, engine, fuel or other trivial luxuries, and they do it as far as possible from shore.<<

The British Navy would not be allowed to take such action because of the health and safety implications.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Two feature stories today.

From The World Maritime News:
German Warship FGS KOELN Disrupts Pirate Action Group
quote:

On 4 November 2011, following a coordinated search and detection by a French Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft, the German warship FGS KOELN, operating as part of the EU NAVFOR, disrupted a pirate action group comprising a whaler and skiff, 50 nautical miles off the coast of Tanzania.
More at http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/37933

From The Hellenic Shipping News:
Somalia Piracy Spurs Private Navy to Start Within Five Months
quote:

The company behind the world’s first private navy to protect merchant ships against Somali pirates plans to start armed escorts through the Gulf of Aden within five months after attacks rose to a record this year.
More at http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56664:somalia-pirac y-spurs-private-navy-to-start-within-five-months-&catid=44:latest-news&Itemid=64

Comment: First, a hearty "Well done!" to the FGS Koeln and EU NAVFOR. Anytime the Good Guys score is worth noting.

Second, I'm not sure anybody can be really cozy with the notion of a private navy, but given that the government forces are overwhelmed by the problem, I don't think there's a lot of choice in this matter. They're doing their best, but they need a lot of help here.​